By Tina Davis
The chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco will speak to several thousand executives, government officials and journalists at the annual CERAWeek by IHS Markit event in Houston Tuesday. As the state-owned oil producer ponders an initial public offering, below are some of the most pressing questions for Amin Nasser.
Where and when will the shares be listed?
At least two governments, the U.S. and U.K., have openly lobbied to get the listing on their exchanges, which could spur a lot of associated financing. And while the Saudis have repeatedly said they want to choose the listing place this year, they have not ruled out the chance the decision will slip into next year.
How have oil prices changed the IPO’s potential value?
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said the IPO will be valued at $2 trillion, but other entities, including Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. and Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. LLC suggest it might be substantially lower.
Aramco wants to buy assets. What’s most interesting?
The company has already begun bulking up in Asia, expanding its ownership of refineries and petrochemical plants in Indonesia and Malaysia, and signing a memorandum of understanding with China North Industries Group Corp. to explore downstream oil opportunities. What else is on their menu? Aramco has taken control of the largest U.S. refinery, Motiva Enterprises LLC’s plant in Port Arthur, Texas, after breaking a joint-venture with Royal Dutch Shell Plc. The company has indicated it may be interested in further refining deals in America while global LNG supplies, perhaps from Russia, appear on the horizon.